How to Develop a Successful eCommerce Mobile App

Mobile App

Advances in technology and an increasingly digital world mean that more people than ever are going online to make everyday purchases. This makes it an exciting time to be an eCommerce business owner, especially with the emergence of mobile apps that can make buying and selling a breeze. If you’re keen to build an app for your eCommerce business, below are some top tips.

Use a Simple and Clear Design

When designing an eCommerce app, you must create a simple and clear design. The user interface is the first thing that a person will interact with when they launch the app, so your first impression must be good. Bear in mind that the screen size of a mobile device is small and limited; therefore, you should focus on creating a clear layout with identifiable search features. Each button, menu option, or block of content also needs to be organized and tidy. 

Another point to bear in mind when creating your design is to make it as intuitive as possible. Imagine yourself as a potential consumer. What would you like to see in an app? How can you reduce the number of steps it takes to get to what you want?

Other things to remember are:

  • Avoiding complicated designs with too much text, images, or animations
  • Avoiding “visual junk”: keep the product and its content as simple as possible.
  • Using color schemes that are monochromatic or analogous.
  • Paying attention to spacing. Think about using shadows and colors or lines and dividers without cluttering the space.
  • Avoiding multiple fonts or typefaces.

At the end of the day, users will want something direct and to the point. After all, they’re using your app to buy something and not to engage in complicated tasks.

Make Navigation Easy

Navigation is another vital element when it comes to developing your app. For example, if your menus, filtering, and sorting options are confusing or not easy to use, you may lose customers forever. To avoid this issue, make sure the names of your menu sections are concise and descriptive. Don’t try to use fancy terms or make them sound more interesting. Instead, use words that are commonly used in the industry so that customers will recognize them.

This is especially important if you are dealing with industries with a lot of category names. For example, if your eCommerce store deals in clothing, then you’ll want to have all the right categories included in your menus, such as t-shirts, sweaters, button-up tops, and so on. Also, within those categories, you’ll want to be able to provide easy filters that allow the customer to customize their search even more. However, it’s essential to make this as simple as possible so start with a few key categories and sub-categories. 

Ensure Login and Sign-in are Quick and Simple

The worst thing you can do with an app is frustrate your users because the login, sign-in, and checkout processes are complicated. When asking for information, try to keep this as simple as possible. 

For example, rather than asking them for their first and last name, address, email, and a security question, try to limit this to just their email address or use social media logins such as Facebook or Gmail. In addition, multiple-step checkout processes have the potential to annoy your customers, especially because it is difficult to type via touchscreens on mobile phones. So, find ways to make sure that your customer can buy, pay, and leave without much hassle. Remember, an app is not a website – it needs to be cleaner and simpler.

Ensure Quick Loading Times 

Seeing a frozen screen or the wheel of death while trying to make a purchase can send anyone away from an app. Make sure that your app has quick loading times as your customer will want their transactions to be quick and painless. Before you launch your app, be sure to test the image and page loading times and ensure they’re less than 5 seconds long.

Use High-Quality Product Images

Product images are another key element that can make or break the success of your app. Remember, customers, are exposed to endless images on their phones. If you want to encourage them to buy your products, then your images must be top-notch. This is especially important if you’re a seller on Amazon who is competing for top real estate via the Amazon Buy Box, for example. To ensure your shop is at the top in terms of traffic and ratings, you’ll need to use high-quality product images. These should be professional, visually appealing, taken using good studio lighting, and with a variety of close-ups. 

Displaying your products from multiple angles (e.g., 360-degree views) will also give you a boost because customers like to see the product in detail. If your products involve people, make sure you spend the money and take time to do proper model photo sessions. While the cost is high for this element of the app, it is incredibly worth it.

Display Prominent Cart Buttons 

This might sound like common sense, but each product page should have a prominent call-to-action button such as “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart”. Also, the cart button itself should be visible so that customers can see how many items they’ve added. If your customer has difficulties seeing what’s in the cart (or has to search for the cart button), you could lose a sale. 

Ideally, your cart button should be visible on every page that the customer visits. Otherwise, making them go to the checkout page to check the cart’s status may irritate them because it involves an unnecessary extra step.

Create One-Handed Input

Unlike websites, apps need to be designed with the users’ hands in mind. This involves placing specific elements in strategic locations (known as the thumb-friendly zone) so that customers can easily reach what they want. Again, this all comes down to remembering how a person uses their phone. Visualize yourself using the app and consider all the ways you can make it easy for users to navigate the space. 

Below are some of the key elements that will do well if they’re placed in the thumb-friendly zone:

  • Add to cart.
  • Proceed buttons that lead them from cart to checkout.
  • Pay button on the payment screen.

Something else to bear in mind is the 3-tap rule. In other words, it shouldn’t take more than three taps for a user to gain access to the products they want to buy. 

Don’t Scrimp on Security

When building your eCommerce app, you also need to remember the importance of security. Apps ask for many details from customers, including their name, address, email address, and bank card details. This means that your customer’s data is at risk, and it is up to you to make them feel as safe as possible while shopping.

To ensure your app is secure, make sure you add high-quality firewall settings, that you’re complying with the country’s data security laws, and that there are no security loopholes. This includes using end-to-end encryption and adding popular payment methods such as Google Pay or Apple Pay.

Support Multiple Payment Options 

On the note of payments, it’s also important to provide options for your customers. For example, does your site accept a combination of PayPal, credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, etc.? Again, versatile, and successful eCommerce apps will make the customer experience as comfortable and easy as possible, and your patrons will appreciate the fact that you’ve kept things open and flexible for them.


Bio: Ryan Flannagan is the Founder & CEO of NuancedMedia, an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced have sold 100s of Millions online and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number of media sources such as BuzzFeed and Modern Retail. To connect with Ryan, check out @Ryanflannagan on Twitter or via Linkedin

Last Updated on December 15th, 2023